Skopje, 13th November 2014 (MIA) – In a year and a half, collection at toll stations along Corridor 10 should be carried out completely electronically through contactless smart cards and microwave transponders, by which drivers may pass by only by reducing the movement speed without stopping.
Investment worth EUR 18.7 million aimed at modernizing and introducing electronic toll collection system will be realized by the Turkish Company “Aselsan”. Agreement was signed today by Deputy Manager of “Aselsan” Suad Bengur and the Director of the Public Enterprise for State Roads Ljupco Georgievski in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski and Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakievski.
Agreement envisages reconstruction, expansion and modernization of the existing toll stations along Corridor 10: Petrovec, Sopot and Otovica, dislocation, modernization and double increase of the number of the toll collection lanes at the toll stations Romanovce and Gradsko, as well as construction of two new toll stations near Demir Kapija and Gevgelija.
Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Stavreski said that the signing of this Agreement is another step ahead of the Government aimed at investing in the transport infrastructure, in the very most important transport artery across Macedonia – Corridor 10, through which, 70% of the total trade of goods throughout the country, is carried out.
It is precisely due to the significance of this Corridor, as he said, that this Project is being realized, which will ensure contemporary and efficient manner of collecting the road toll, as well as faster transport. – What is also important is that Romanovce and Gradsko, now being bottlenecks, will be expanded, apart from getting modern method of road toll collection. At present, there are five lanes, and from time to time, especially during the holidays, there are long lines of cars. By realizing this Project, instead of five lanes, there will be ten lanes, and thus, the passengers and transporters will pass through it much more quickly, Stavreski said.
According to Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakievski, the new manner of collection will be much simpler, the traffic jam during the summer period will be avoided, and the revenues arising from the collection will be invested in building the infrastructure.
Despite that automated collection method excluding the human factor, will be introduced, he said, all employees in the Public Enterprise will retain their jobs. Employees will not be included in the toll collection at all, since the system itself is not cash-based. Smart cards will be charged at points of sale near the toll stations and there will certainly be operators at the service of users, Janakievski said.
Payment cards in pre-paid or post-paid, will initially be sold at the border crossings, while in future, they will be part of the distribution network throughout Macedonia. Introduction of possibility for their charging through mobile phone is also planned.
Price at the toll stations in Macedonia does not depend on the introduction of this system, Janakieski said, pointing out that the modernization and expansion will provide for double increase of the capacity of toll stations, wherever there are bottlenecks, particularly during the summer period. As a result of the planned construction of the express road Gradsko-Prilep next year, the toll stations Romanovce and Gradsko will be dislocated and they will be completely new toll stations. Within the construction of the new Demir-Kapija-Smokvica motorway, construction of two new toll stations near Gevgelija and Demir Kapija is planned, Janakievski said.
Public Enterprise for State Roads’ representatives expect for the new system and toll stations to provide for fast flow of vehicles, i.e. for the time needed to pass through the toll stations, will be reduced to minimum. – At present, the collection is improved by 40%, however, it is also important that the human factor will be avoided, and if there are certain omissions committed by some of our employees, this will help for them to be reduced. By completely excluding the human factor, there will be no possibility for manipulation of funds, Georgievski said.
According to the Deputy Manager of “Aselsan”, the system that they will implement is a field proven solution that automatically collects tolls for more than 15 years under heavy traffic in Turkey.
– The system to be implemented in Macedonia is an even more advanced version of this already successful field proven system. “Aselsan” hopes that the Project will also help improving already very close relations between our countries.